You know the scene in Bad Moms when Kristen Bell’s character is talking about how she wishes she would get into a minor car accident so she can stay in hospital for a couple of days to get a break from mothering? I feel like that sometimes too. Not a car accident though, just something minor that requires a bit of hospital rest and I guess a little break from parenting.
In a slightly unfortunate and painful way I got a taste of that a few weeks ago when I fell in a pothole, while trying to close a gate on our property, and rolled my right ankle. As I slumped to the ground I heard two snapping sounds in short succession. I couldn’t bear to look down as I feared I would see a bone sticking out. Eeek!
My hubby was in the car and saw me crumple to the ground. Like my knight in shining armour he carried me back to the passenger seat and drove me to the emergency room, while my brave friend looked after our four kids who were coming down from a pizza and cordial high.
I was in so much pain but didn’t cry. I was in shock that I’d actually hurt myself pretty bad. Usually when I fall over I bounce right back. Not this time.
As hubby and I sat in the room waiting for the results from the x-ray I laughed at the realisation (and maybe a little from the Endone that was just kicking in) that this was the first time we had been out sans kids for months. Is this what date night has succumbed to?
In perfect unison hubby looked at me and a smile crept across his face as he held my hand. He had just realised the same thing.
How could it have been four months since our last night out together? And does this really count as a date night? No way, but it does count as quality time which is important – no matter where it occurs I guess!
As I watched David fuss over me and make sure I was ok, I sensed this was the first time in a while he had managed to stop the constant stream of thoughts running through his head, and see me as a person. For once he wasn’t distracted by work commitments, or shit that had to get done around the house. In this moment I wasn’t just the mum to his children. I was his partner. And it was really nice.
Thankfully the x-ray came back all clear, so it was most likely the ligaments in my ankle that I heard snap (ouch!). As the doctor was strapping my ankle and fitting me for crutches I had a moment where I thought it would’ve been nice, just for one night, to get a hall pass from parenting.
“I am so grateful I didn’t break my ankle”, I whispered to David. “But is there any way I can stay in hospital tonight so I get a sleep in?,” I laughed. But a teeny bit of me wasn’t joking.
My kids are amazing and kind hearted people, but they are hard work. They have tantrums over the smallest things, are pretty messy, and have a shit time at remembering how to hang up a wet towel. But should it really take me falling in a ditch and twisting my ankle to make me realise that I need to make more of an effort for myself, and my relationship with hubby?
I’m guessing it’s a trap we all fall into at some point and it’s only when we are faced with an “Aha!” moment that we see what needs to change. It was also an eye opener in the sense that quality time can happen anywhere. Whether it’s in the hospital waiting room or at home surrounded by piles of laundry and dirty dishes, it’s important and the location shouldn’t be overestimated.
But the occasional night out with your partner is pretty cool if you can swing it… Maybe it’s time I set a monthly reminder in my calendar for date night with hubby. That way a trip to the hospital and overnight stay won’t seem so appealing!
How often do you have date night with your partner? Or is it long overdue like ours?
Suggestions or funny stories are most welcome!
Your friend and uncoordinated parenting peer